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I was so excited today when one of our EAs (thanks Laura) at school sent me the link to the Google Doodle after she had been in our class a month ago during social studies. We were learning about Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express. Buffalo Bill is a delightful character for the children to learn about. This book introduces Buffalo Bill at a young age with the beginning of the Pony Express. I enjoy having discussions with my students regarding the letters Bill would write to his mom telling of his adventures and whether or not he was depicting what truly happened in his day.
As I have written before, I grew up listening to country music with my dad as a square dance caller. A little over a year ago, I came across a copy of the book "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton. At the same time, I acquired a copy of "Good Night Tennessee," part of the Good Night Our World series. As these two books came into my library, I started reading more and then listening to the many songs written by Dolly over her amazing career.
As an adult, I listened to the lyrics with an entire new perspective. Having gone through immense training on primary sources, her lyrics are such a storytelling gem. I also came across her DVD from her live concert in London from 2008. This clip below doesn't do her story justice (even though I can listen to the song over and over). Dolly's lead in story speaks about the love she felt in her family despite the fact that the roof leaked, there could be a lack of food, her father worked endless hours and her mother was busy raising 12 children.
What makes me even more appreciative of her is her dedication to early childhood education. Years ago, she started the Imagination Library to supply children with books from birth to age 5 so that they are ready for Kindergarten. Her father never had the opportunity to learn how to read and she is very proud that her father lived to see her start the Imagination Library. Kids fondly call her the "book lady."
I love reading the "Coat of Many Colors" to my students. We spend time reading the book and then writing about their own small moments. Today we celebrated her birthday as we learned about Tennessee.
Happy birthday to an amazing woman and great role model!
As an early childhood/primary educator my entire professional career, the fact that I share the EXACT same birthday with such an American classic as Sesame Street makes me rather happy. Today, Sesame Street and I are celebrating our 45th birthdays. It is rare to have a show that we watched growing up as a child still have such influence several decades later on our own children (although my children are grown). As a child, I can remember reading the book "The Monster At The End Of This Book" over and over and over. Needless to say, when I came across a copy of the book several years ago, I felt the need to replace my long lost childhood copy!
Currently, in my own classroom, we are learning about the American Revolution and discussing the qualities of a leader as we address civics standards. I love showing vintage Sesame Street clips about the Revolution. With the clips being available on Youtube, I have the ability to stop and engage the kids in a discussion about what what might be fact or fiction. For example, did Grover really show up wanting to throw a surprise party for the Hessians or did George Washington have a different kind of surprise in mind? As we are discussing the attributes of a leader, how did George Washington problem solve all of the passengers being on either one end or the other end of the boat when they were not listening to directions? I love adding this to a lesson to engage the students and get them to think!
As an adult, if you haven't spent some time watching a clip or two, I encourage you to do so. Sesame Street has influenced so many of us at one point and time in our life and for this I am thankful.
AND...since it is a Monday, I think I will close with a very current SS including another one of my new favorites...Kid President. Happy Monday and Happy Birthday to Sesame Street!
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt is by far my favorite president! When I think about it, I believe that he seemed larger than life and dabbled in so many areas of interest. He is also a fascinating topic for kids to study. I am currently hosting an after school book club for second graders and we are using "Who Was Theodore Roosevelt?" as our text. The students have been enjoying sharing their own collections after learning about young TR's natural history collection.
Oddly, they were not very amused with me after I broke their hieroglyphic pots during our study of Egypt (after learning about Teddy's family trip there). We learned about the job of an archeologist by watching a Scholastic video by archeologist Dr. Ruben Mendoza and then headed off to the sandbox to dig up their broken pots. Much to their chagrin, their pots are still not completely assembled!
Despite their frustration over their pots, we are having a grand time learning about Teddy and his travels as a young boy. I am looking forward to our time as we focus on the relationship that Teddy had with conservationist John Muir and am planning a school wide conservation effort in conjunction with our student council.
If you don't know much about TR yourself, I highly encourage you to take the time to learn. He truly was an amazing man and one of great inspiration for all!
If you have never read any of Tomie's books, GO GET SOME! Not only are his autobiographical books amazing, but his folktales and other books including Strega Nona, are not to be missed!
Yesterday, it was with great sadness that many of us from our staff attended a funeral of a fellow colleague and great man after his battle against cancer. I enjoyed teaching our intervention time with Cal on a daily basis as we worked with the benchmark students and did most of our project based studies through a history focus.
Cal grew up in New Orleans in the 1960s and would share stories and his perspective from the South on both desegregation and the Civil War. I loved handing a book over to him to read with the kids. He loved to answer and discuss the students' many questions.
As we were at his service yesterday, his son retold a Cajun story about Thibodeaux and Boudreax that Cal often told around the campfire. He asked us to forgive his inaccurate Cajun accent and assured us his dad was much better! I wish that I had heard Cal tell these and the many others that he was so famous for. Even more so, I wish that I had videoed Cal so that I could share them with my kids for years to come. The Cajun accent and vocabulary are quite challenging as I have tried it myself while reading "Petite Rouge".
The story below is a favorite Cajun story of mine, however, I much prefer to have the author of the book read it so the accents are accurate.
I would like to dedicate this post to a dear friend and wonderful man, Cal. We all miss you greatly!